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Supreme winners
Blenheim Sun, Blenheim  by Cathie Bell
11 Oct 2017
General News - page 1 - 533 words - ID 857823670 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 652.00cm2

The group behind the annual Marlborough Book Festival won the supreme award at last night's Trustpower Community Awards.

In three years, the Marlborough Book Festival has become a hugely successful event involving hundreds of people.

For winning the Supreme Award, Marlborough Readers and Writers Trust receives a framed certificate, a trophy, and $1500 prize money. The group will represent Marlborough at the 2017 Trustpower National Community Awards in Queenstown next April.

Continued on page 2

Book festival takes out top award

Continued from page 1 Trustpower Community Relations Representative Abbie Siely says the award acknowledges the Marlborough Book Festival's rapid rise, both in Marlborough and with book enthusiasts around the country.

"The Marlborough Readers and Writers Charitable Trust began in 2014 when a couple of friends saw a gap in the region's cultural calendar. They noted that many locals were either travelling away for readers and writers festivals, or simply not experiencing them. There was space in the national festival schedule for a winter event that would bring Marlborough to life in the colder months and add to the region's cultural diversity.

"The vision was to give authors a wonderful weekend away, enjoying Marlborough's hospitality, and to give audiences an intimate experience that would stimulate, inspire and entertain." This vision has more than realised, Abbie says, with this year's event the biggest yet.

The festival has grown from six authors at three venues in its first year to 15 authors and journalists at six venues this year, with 1350 tickets sold across 20 sessions.

"It is incredible to think that what was only an idea just a few years ago has grown into such a respected and anticipated event," Abbie says.

She noted that judges are particularly impressed with the strong volunteering component in the group's efforts.

"With the exception of one part-time contracted event coordinator, brought on to help accommodate the festival's huge success and growth, the entire weekend is organised and run by volunteers. It is the vision, initiative and determination of these people that has made the Marlborough Book Festival a highlight on the calendars of book lovers and authors alike." Other winners at tonight's Trustpower Marlborough Community Awards were: Youth Spirit Award : Finalist - Jack Dalton, Marlborough Boys' College; Finalist - Laurie Duncan, Marlborough Girls' College; Finalist - Maddi Anderson, Queen Charlotte College; Winner - Demi Blankendaal, Rai Valley Area School Heritage and Environment : Runner up - Te Whanau Hou Grovetown Lagoon; Winner - Picton Dawn Chorus Inc.

Health and Wellbeing: Commendation - Picton Quilters Inc.; Commendation - Marlborough Community Centre Trust Inc.; Runner up - Volunteers St Vincent de Paul Picton; Winner - Care Packages Marlborough.

Arts and Culture: Runner up - Breakthrough Centre New Zealand (Bcre8ve); Winner - The Gallery Havelock Charitable Trust.

Sport and Leisure: Runner up - Marlborough Netball Centre; Winner - Picton Table Tennis Club.

Education and Child/ Youth Development: Commendation - Blenheim Rangers Girl Guiding NZ; Runner up - Marlborough Youth Trust; Winner - Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough.

Supreme Winner Marlborough Readers and Writers Charitable Trust

Caption Text:
The Marlborough book festival committee, from left: Sharon Hill, Sonia O'Regan, Kat Pickford, Lorraine Carryer, Charlotte Patterson, and Sophie Preece. Photo by Jim Tannock.

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